Massimo Mallegni, Mayor of Pietrasanta, The Crowd, 2017

It is a great honour for the City of Pietrasanta, and for this City Council in particular, to present the exhibition “The Crowd” (La Folla) by the Master Jørgen Haugen Sørensen, who has been living and working in Pietrasanta since 1974. With the exhibition the Danish artist reveals the itinerary which retraces the principal phases of his career from the late 1960’s to the present. Indeed, the level of renown that Haugen Sørensen has achieved through his works internationally, and especially in his native country, is matched by a corresponding level of obscurity in Versilia. Haugen Sørensen began his speech inaugurating the exhibition by saying that now, finally, the local people too would know what he has been creating in Versilia, after over forty years of working here. However, although he may not be well-known to local or occasional visitors to the show, he is definitely a familiar presence in the foundries and the marble workshops where he has assiduously collaborated with our local craftsmen. For this show too he has in fact created three new monumental sculptures here in Pietrasanta – one in marble and two in bronze. One of these in particular, The Crowd – generously financed by the Fondazione New Carlsberg of Copenhagen – will be donated to the City of Pietrasanta so that it can be installed in the International Park of Contemporary Sculpture in the city. Moreover, an identical resin replica of the work is used as the scenography for the principal performance of the DAP Festival - Danza in Arte a Pietrasanta, with which the dancers of the Danish choreographer Sebastian Kloborg will interact to the music of the Danish composer Kim Helweg.

Sørensen’s works, which are anything but banal and indubitably realistic in theme, are both striking and thought-provoking and immediately reveal the artist’s extraordinary talent. Last autumn he was awarded the prestigious international prize “Pietrasanta e la Versilia nel Mondo” by the Circolo Culturale “Fratelli Rosselli”, a recognition he richly deserved for having displayed his creations at the most eminent levels all over the world. His name also continues to be linked to the Maquettes Museum of Pietrasanta, since he contributed to its creation, albeit indirectly.

We should like to thank the Master Jørgen Haugen Sørensen for having opened the doors to his studio and shared his unique works, both those created recently in his own workshop or the craft workshops of Pietrasanta, and the past works already housed in outstanding museum collections. We also thank him for having accepted the challenge of bringing to birth, in close creative collaboration, the DAP Festival and its Dance with Sculpture.